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Reflexivity and the Public Interest: A case study of the Leveson Inquiry

Derdeb, Tariq (2022) Reflexivity and the Public Interest: A case study of the Leveson Inquiry. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This research analyses different understandings of ‘the public interest' and the role they play within the British newspaper industry. The analysis highlights the reflexive negotiation of this concept within individual newspaper organisations, whereby journalistic and editorial decisions are made, as well as the public interests utilisation in arguments supporting different models of press regulation. A case study of the Leveson Inquiry (2011-2012) and the political fallout from this inquiry, is used as the main basis for understanding these themes. This was a wide-ranging public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press following initial revelations of phone-hacking and other forms of privacy invasion within the News of the World newspaper which subsequently ceased trading. Within this thesis, document analysis is used to study the Inquiry itself, focusing on contributions made by journalists and newsworkers employed within the British Press, as well as those Inquiry participants who came forward with regulatory suggestions for improving longstanding issues of oversight and accountability within the newspaper industry. The political events which followed the publication of the Inquiry’s recommendations are unpacked through an analysis of parliamentary debates. The thesis demonstrates that differing interpretations of the public interest were mobilised by both those pursuing change to press regulation and those largely promoting the status-quo. Such adaptation of the public interest to achieve certain ends, was a reflexive process which eventually prevented the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry from being effectively implemented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Interest, Leveson Inquiry, Reflexivity, Press regulation.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Tariq Derdeb
Date Deposited: 20 May 2022 11:58
Last Modified: 20 May 2022 11:58
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32851

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